Does Payer Type Influence Pediatric Burn Outcomes? A National Study Using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database

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Pediatric burns are a considerable source of injury in the United States. Socioeconomic status has been demonstrated to influence other disease outcomes. The goal of this study was to analyze national pediatric burn outcomes based on payer type. A retrospective study was designed using the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), years 2000 to 2009. Patients 18 years of age and under with Major Diagnostic code number 22 for burn were included. A total of 22,965 patients were identified, estimating 37,856 discharges. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were performed. Multiple regression analysis was used to assess correlation of payer type with complications and length of stay (LOS). The majority of patients were Medicaid (52.3%). Medicaid patients were younger (4.25, P < .05), had a higher rate of being in the first quartile of their zipcode’s income (46.26%, P < .05), and contained a higher proportion of African-Americans (30.01%, P < .05). Overall complication rate was higher among Medicaid patients than private insurance and self-pay patients (6.64 vs 5.51 and 4.35%, respectively, P = .11). Logistic regression analysis of complications showed that Medicaid coverage (P < .001) was associated with complications. The geometric mean LOS among Medicaid patients was 3.7 days compared with private insurance (3.5 days) and self-pay patients (3.1 days). Medicaid patients had longer LOS and more complications. Regression analysis revealed that payer type was a factor in LOS and overall complication rate. Identifying dissimilar outcomes based on patient and injury characteristics is critical in providing information on how to improve those outcomes.

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